An operation to remove a brain tumour turned into a six months hospital stay after Matthew Stamper suffered a stroke on the operating table.
He was subsequently transferred to the Regional Hyperacute Rehabilitation Unit at Northwick Park - a three hour round trip for wife Alice from their home in Billericay, Essex.
Thankfully, the hospital helped the newly married couple keep in touch via Letters to your Loved Ones, an initiative allowing loved ones to send messages, greeting cards and pictures to any of the trust’s four hospitals.
“It was a real life saver for us,” said Alice who was fitting in hospital visits around her full-time job as a legal secretary.
Alice added: “The staff were fantastic and read the messages out to Matt as he was suffering from double vision. It just meant I and Matt’s family could be in contact with him every day. It meant a lot to both of us and he has two folders full of the messages at home.
Letters to your Loved Ones was the idea of Dr Bhavya Tyagi and colleagues who recognized the healing power of communication, especially during the pandemic with restricted visiting hours.
Bhavya said: “We just wanted to help people make that connection. No-one wants to be in hospital and visiting hours are the highlight of the day for most people so having that taken away is tough."
Dr Tyagi added: “It’s easy to forget that human contact - even if it is via an electronic device - is part of the healing process. It isn’t just about medicine.”
For more details, see www.lnwh.nhs.uk/letters-to-your-loved-one